Activision is no stranger to eSports, as it’s been hosting a number of Call of Duty competitions over the past few years. This time around, however, it’s definitely getting more serious.
With Call of Duty: Black Ops III just under a couple of months from release, the publisher announced today the debut of the Call of Duty World League, an eSports-based league that will support the popular first-person shooting franchise. With it, it shows a higher devotion to competitive play, including an all-new Call of Duty Championship, which will offer a prize pool of over $3 million.
“Call of Duty has always been about community, camaraderie and competition, which drives incredible engagement with the game all year long. eSports allows us to deliver these moments to our fans whether they are playing the game themselves or cheering on those who are,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc. “Three years ago, we held the first Call of Duty Championship to showcase the dedication and skill of Call of Duty players around the world. Since then, eSports has become a global phenomenon with more than 120 million people watching online competitive gaming each year and Call of Duty continues to lead as the top console eSports franchise in the world.”
The competition won’t just be for the pros either, as the League will be divided into two types of players The Pro Division and the Channel Division. Both will tie in to the Call of Duty Championship in fall 2016, with players from around the world, professional and amateur alike, competing for a chance at eSports glory.
“Treyarch’s passion for competitive gaming precedes Call of Duty: Black Ops II, a heritage that inspired us to introduce dedicated eSports features into the franchise and one that compelled us to push the boundaries of Call of Duty: Black Ops III‘s offerings beyond anything we’ve delivered before,” said Mark Lamia, Treyarch studio head. “While our global fan base of players range from casual to professional, they all share a desire to compete – some at the highest levels. With Call of Duty: Black Ops III, we are introducing a series of new features, like Arena mode that not only accommodate that diversity of play styles, but also let players see how they stack up against one another. Treyarch is giving the community of Call of Duty players new ways to compete and enjoy the thrill of competition.”
This marks a big shift for the event, which usually takes place in the spring, but Activision hopes it will give players the extra time needed to deliver their all, creating a rousing conclusion to its eSports competition which, again, will offer a whopping $3 million in series payouts and LAN events. (That’s bigger than previous Call of Duty events.)
More information on the World League can be found here. Meanwhile, aspiring players and pros alike can get their hands on Black Ops III when it releases on November 6th.